British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Othello

Synopsis
A recording of the National Theatre production, directed by John Dexter, restyled somewhat for film, but retaining much of its ‘staginess’, Olivier doing little to adapt his towering and extravagant performance for the screen.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Film
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Year of release
1965
Duration
166 mins; 18,675 feet

Credits

Director
Stuart Burge
Producer
Anthony Havelock-Allan; John Brabourne
Cinematographer
Geoffrey Unsworth
Writer
William Shakespeare
Music
Richard Hampton
Art Direction
William Kellner
Cast
Laurence OlivierOthello
Maggie SmithDesdemona
Frank FinlayIago
Derek JacobiMichael Cassio
Joyce RedmanEmilia
Anthony NichollsBrabantio
David HargreavesSenator (1)
Edward HardwickeMontano
Harry LomaxDuke of Venice
Kenneth MackintoshLodovico
Malcolm TerrisSenator (2)
Robert LangRoderigo
Roy HolderClown
Sheila ReidBianca

Additional Details

Theatre
National Theatre, London
Theatre company
National Theatre Company
Production type
Fiction Films
Plays
Othello
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)
Related items
Kenneth Tynan - In Praise of Hardcore
Laurence Olivier
Olivier Talks About Othello
Othello

Notes

Notes
The British Library Sound Archive holds a live sound recording made at a performance at the Old Vic 29 January 1965. This recording is catalogued separately.
Figures
$1.2m in the first weekend of release in the US
Awards
All four principals - Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Frank Finlay and Joyce Redman - were nominated for (but did not win) Academy Awards.
Reviews
Davies, Anthony ‘Filming Othello’ in Davies, Anthony and Stanley Wells (eds). Shakespeare and the Moving Image: the Plays on Film and Television. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 196-210. [Compares the films of Othello by Orson Welles, Stuart Burge, and Sergei Yutkevich].
"A dulled Maggie Smith notoriously accentuating Olivier’s mannerisms, the overall effect being that of a rather bad-tempered member of ‘The Black and White Minstrel Show" (McKernan & Terris, Walking Shadows: Shakespeare in the National Film and Television Archive’, London:BFI, 1994, p127).

Birmingham Shakespeare Library holds a typescript.

Production Company

Name

British Home Entertainment

Distributor (Sale)

Name

Retail outlets

Record Stats

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